Bill Maher Welcomes Incoming NIH Director With a New Rule

New National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Monica Bertagnolli has barely had time to settle into her office, and already comedian, TV host, and PETA Honorary Director Bill Maher has a message for her. He’s joining with us to expose NIH’s ridiculous annual expenditure of $19 billion for painful and deadly experiments on animals, which fail to produce treatments or cures for humans and to ask the agency to do a better job.

NIH, supposedly the world’s leading health agency, claims to have the lofty goal of seeking scientific knowledge that will “enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” In reality, though, it imprisons hundreds of thousands of animals in its own government laboratories while also funding numerous animal laboratories at universities across the country, all at taxpayers’ expense. And these studies aren’t advancing human health at all.

“Call me crazy, but I think it might be a good idea for the country’s premier health agency to act on what the science has shown: Hurting and killing animals in pointless tests is a colossal failure.”

—Bill Maher

Ninety percent of basic research—most of which involves animals—fails to lead to treatments for humans. A whopping 95% of new pharmaceutical drugs that test safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.

The failure rates of drugs developed for specific diseases are appalling:

  • 100% of treatments for strokes (based on 1,000 new agents in 100 clinical trials) and sepsis developed in animals have failed in humans.
  • More than 99% of Alzheimer’s disease treatments developed in animals have failed in humans.
  • Only 3.4% of oncology drugs tested on animals succeed in humans.
  • There’s no vaccine for HIV, even though experimenters have wasted decades infecting monkeys and other animals with similar viruses.
  • There’s no cure for nearly all forms of cancer. Despite a 50-year “war on cancer,” the disease is still the number two killer of Americans, just as it was in 1971.

“There are dozens of high-tech research methods starving for money because NIH would rather cut open the skulls of monkeys like medieval barbers than invest in human-relevant scientific research.”

—Bill Maher

NIH isn’t just funding these horrific experiments in the U.S.—it’s sending billions of dollars to animal laboratories in foreign countries. In a landmark move to curb the out-of-control waste of taxpayer funds on foreign animal experiments for which there is no oversight, U.S. Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas-22) have introduced the Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act (HR 4757), which would prevent NIH from awarding “grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or technical assistance” of any kind to any foreign entity for experiments on animals.

Join Bill Maher and Urge Congress to Direct Bertagnolli to End Pointless Animal Experiments

Right now, millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside cages in laboratories around the world. You can help them by urging your U.S. representative to support the CARGO Act. And remember to always buy products made by cruelty-free companies, donate only to charities that don’t experiment on animals, and request that schools use non-animal dissection methods to teach about anatomy.

U.S. Residents: Take Action Now

Not a U.S. resident? Take action for animals in laboratories below:

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Note: PETA supports animal rights, opposes all forms of animal exploitation, and educates the public on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind